TV listings from The Age (Melbourne) for 1979

Thanks are due to "Vera Bennett" for pointing out that google's newspaper archive search includes an almost complete set of scans of the Melbourne paper "The Age", which can be used to establish the original broadcast dates for Prisoner.

If you follow the link above, enter a range of dates (or the same date twice to fnd a particular edition), either in the formats shown or as YYYY/MM/DD and then put The Age as the source. Clicking on any of the results takes you into the scanned paper which can be navigated by entering a page number or with the next and previous buttons.

The daily TV listings in The Age for 1979 and the early part of 1980 are not on a set page, whereas later they always appeared on page 2. However, there is usually a tiny contents list on page 1 in the middle of the page at the right margin which will show which page the TV listings are on.

The same day listings in 1979 and early 1980 also do not include any description which allows you to identify which episode was shown. However, the Thursday edition of the paper has a TV guide for the following week which does include a description. To find the TV guide in the Thursday paper it's easiest to work backwards from the last page.

The weekly listings can be hard to read as they often appear sideways on the screen or upside down, so I have transcribed them in the table below. As can be seen, the episode descriptions do not always make sense or correspond to the episode numbers that can be established from the scheduling pattern of one episode on Tuesday and another on Wednesday. The only exceptions to this pattern in 1979 are: the first two episodes being shown together on the first night; two episodes being shown on 12/06/79 to allow cricket to be shown on the Wednesday; no episodes on either 09/10/79 or 10/10/79 due to an industrial dispute.

The final episode of 1979 was shown on 28/11/79: the following week ATV0 began a run of the English series "Poldark" on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Although it seems to be widely accepted (including on the cliffhangers page on this site, it has to be admitted) that the 1979 cliffhanger was (82), the last episode to be shown in 1979 in fact appears to have been (79). This is not absolutely clearcut from the listings evidence as the episode description for 28/11/09 seems to relate to (80) rather than (79). However the previous day's episode does seem to have been (78) and the first one in 1980 fits with (80). Episode (82) appears to have been shown on 29/01/80.

The Age issue date Tuesday episode Episode number Wednesday episode Episode number
22 Feb 1979 Tue 27/02/79 20:30 to 22:30 Karen Travers is sent to Wentworth after refusing to give evidence when charged with the murder of her husband 1 and 2 Wed 28/02/79 20:30 Bea Smith is sent back to Wentworth after a violent crime. A jail riot ends in a stabbing 3
1 Mar 1979 Tue 06/03/79 20:30 There has been a murder in Wentworth Detention Centre, and both the authorities and the prisoners have their own methods of finding the culprit. 4 Wed 07/03/79 20:30 Lynn Warner obtains permission to dig the garden. She later learns the shocking news. 5
8 Mar 1979 Tue 13/03/79 20:30 Marilyn hears news that may change her future. Meg Jackson investigates the details of Lynn's story 6 Wed 14/03/79 20:30 Lizzie finally finds a friend; friends prove a bad influence on Marilyn. 7
15 Mar 1979 Tue 20/03/79 20:30 The women set up with a new cellmate who begins changing the system. 8 Wed 21/03/79 20:30 Further details are revealed about Lynn Warner's case. 9
22 Mar 1979 No paper in archive for this date. No papers for 27/03/09 or 28/03/79 either, but assume an episode was shown. 10 No paper in archive for this date. No papers for 27/03/09 or 28/03/79 either, but assume an episode was shown. 11
29 Mar 1979 No paper in archive for this date. Daily listings as follows Tue 03/04/79 20:30 No description 12 No paper in archive for this date. Daily listings as follows Wed 04/04/79 20:30 No description 13
05 Apr 1979 Tue 10/04/79 20:30 Greg goes to Lynn's assistance and a new welfare officer starts. 14 Wed 11/04/79 20:30 A reunion for Bea and Greg hires a lawyer for Karen. 15
12 Apr 1979 Tue 17/04/79 20:30 Franky and Doreen find a solution and Vera finds herself in hot water. 16 Wed 18/04/79 20:30 Lynn tries a way out and Erica is faced with a dilemma. 17
19 Apr 1979 No Thursday paper in archive and no paper for 24/04/79 18 No Thursday paper in archive and no paper for 25/04/79 19
26 Apr 1979 No Thursday paper in archive. The TV listings in the edition for 01/05/79 has Prisoner listed at 20:30, but with no episode description. 20 No Thursday paper in archive. The TV listings in the edition for 02/05/79 has Prisoner listed at 20:30, but with no episode description. 21
3 May 1979 Tue 08/05/79 20:30 Lizzie gets an outing; Lyn shocks her father 22 Thu 09/05/79 20:30 Ted organises a job for Lyn; Erica has an unexpected reunion 23
10 May 1979 Tue 15/05/79 20:30 Erica finds a solution to Barbara's problem; Karen goes for her retrial 24 Thu 16/05/79 20:30 Karen gets a surprise; Lyn gets into trouble; a mysterious prisoner arrives 25
17 May 1979 No Thursday paper in archive and no paper for 22/05/79 26 No Thursday paper in archive and no paper for 23/05/79 27
24 May 1979 No Thursday paper in archive. The TV listings in the edition for 29/05/79 has Prisoner listed at 20:30, but with no description 28 No Thursday paper in archive. The TV listings in the edition for 30/05/79 has Prisoner listed at 20:30, but with no description 29
31 May 1979 No Thursday paper in archive and no paper for 05/06/79 30 No Thursday paper in archive and no paper for 06/06/79 31
7 Jun 1979 Tue 13/06/79 20:30 to 22;30 Judith Ann runs an errand; Vera is briefly reunited with George; Steve decides to pay Clara's bail; Noeline causes havoc among the women. 32 and 33 No Prisoner, Cricket at 20:30 -
14 Jun 1979 No paper in archive 34 No paper in archive 35
21 Jun 1979 No paper in archive 36 No paper in archive 37
28 Jun 1979 No paper in archive 38 No paper in archive 39
5 Jul 1979 Tue 10/07/79 20:30 A new staff member begins work; Lyn finds herself in trouble 40 Wed 11/07/79 20:30 Monica decides to sell her shop; Joyce refuses to tell her husband where the robbery proceeds are hidden 41
12 Jul 1979 Tue 17/07/79 20:30 Lizzie does a good turn; Steve finds out tht all's fair in love in business; Joyce makes Monica a tempting offer 42 Wed 18/07/79 20:30 Monica learns that her husband is in trouble; Doreen is upset about losing a friend; Lyn is met by an unexpected welcoming party when she is released. 43
19 Jul 1979 Tue 24/07/09 20:30 Karen misses a lecture then discovers that one pf her tutors will be studying at the prison; Monica obtains a large sum of money; an old couple are evicted. 44 Wed 25/07/09 20:30 Fred gets himself into trouble with his new girlfriend; Monica is unable to control her temper; Edith finds accomodation; Peter begins studying the women of Wentworth 45
26 Jul 1979 Tue 31/07/79 20:30 Monica's violent temper lets her down again; Lizzie cannot take all the excitement; Jim receives an anonymous letter 46 Wed 01/08/79 20:30 Monica goes on a rampage; Denise fails to escape from Monica's clutches; Jim considers a reconciliation with Leila 47
2 Aug 1979 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 48 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 49
9 Aug 1979 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 50 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 51
16 Aug 1979 Tue 21/08/79 20:30 Greg moves into a private practice; Meg receives an unwanted house guest; Bella makes a friend while Peter loses one 52 Wed 22/08/79 20:30 Melinda gets a shock on the day of her trial; Bea and Monica are falsely accused; Noeline decides to forgive her daughter 53
23 Aug 1979 Tue 28/08/79 20:30 A murderess confesses; there is danger for Vera; Jim is confronted by his own fears; Karen has a harrowing confrontation 54 Wed 29/08/79 20:30 Doreen is returned to her friends; Karen makes a new acquaintance; Jean finds a job for Leanne 55
30 Aug 1979 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 56 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 57
6 Sep 1979 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 58 No paper in archive, no same day paper either 59
13 Sep 1979 No paper in archive but paper for 18/09/79 lists Prisoner for 20:30 No description 60 No paper in archive but paper for 19/09/79 lists Prisoner for 20:30 No description 61
20 Sep 1979 Tue 25/09/79 20:30 Toni receives some bad news and loses a friend; Greg is worried about Doreen: Karen upsets Angela's plans; Glenys loses her appetite 62 Wed 26/09/79 20:30 Peg (?) makes a harrowing discovery; Jim receives some good news; Bea pulls a stunt; Martha loses a friend 63
27 Sep 1979 Tue 02/10/79 20:30 Jim and Vera enjoy themselves; Karen tries to get on better terms with Angela 64 Wed 03/10/79 20:30 Jim loses a friend and gains a few enemies; Meg is confronted by her past; Karen tries to change the future 65
4 Oct 1979 The advance listing for Tue 09/10/79 is "20:30 Erica does some detective work; Jim loses a battle; Doreen has a long-awaited visitor; a new man appears on the scene". However, the daily listings for 09/10/79 have the film "Wanted - the Sundance Woman" on ATV-0 at 20:30 with a note at the foot of the listings which reads "The current television industrial dispute means that the programmes and times listed above are subject to change". It seems reasonable to assume that Prisoner was not shown on this date. - The advance listing for Wed 10 Oct 1979 "20:30 Doreen writes some poetry (67); Chrissie is left speechless; Erica becomes dogmatic; a happy event brings a family closer". However, the daily listings for 10/10/79 have the Benny Hill show (!) on ATV-0 from 20:30 to 21:30 with the same note about the industrial dispute. I have assumed Prisoner was not shown on this date either. -
11 Oct 1979 Tue 16/10/79 Prisoner is not shown in the advance listings for this date, but the listings appear to be misprinted and include the Black and White Minstrels twice, listed for 21:30 both times. The daily listings in The Age for 16/10/79 has Prisoner at 20:30 for an hour (but with no description) 66 Wed 17/10/79 20:30 but with no description of the episode content 67
18 Oct 1979 Tues 23/10/79 Karen makes a move; Angela has some news for Pat; a puzzling theft occurs; Chrissie gets herself into trouble 68 Wed 24 Oct 1979 20:30 Chrissie is confined; Erica fears a scandal; Karen recieves a warning; Pat takes a risk 69
25 Oct 1979 No issue on google archive search Lisings in daily papers for 30/10/79 20:30 No description 70 No issue on google archive search Lisings in daily papers for 31/10/79 20:00 No description 71
1 Nov 1979 Tues 06/11/79 20:30 Bea tries to help Roslyn adjust; Chrissie causes trouble in the maternity wing; Vera conducts a typing class (72) 72 Wed 07/11/79 20:30 Doreen receives disturbing news; Bea sets the women to work on a special project; Roslyn receives a tempting offer 73
8 Nov 1979 Tues 13/11/79 Jim reports Bea and Karen to Erica; Doreen attends a funeral (73); Rosie has a visit from a psychiatrist (71) 74 Wed 14/11/79 Doreen faces serious trouble over her parole; Rosie receives bad news; Roslyn tries to help a sick man (73) 75
15 Nov 1979 Tue 20/11/09 20:30 Vera attempts to sabotage plans for the show; Karen meets a young journalist (74?) ; Greg is questioned by the police 76 Wed 21/11/79 20:30 Doreen makes a special cake for Lizzie (75) ; Pat visits her son (75); despite opposition from Vera the show goes on (75) 77
22 Nov 1979 Tue 27/11/09 20:30 Karen and Greg have good news to report; Erica tightens security (78) ; Jim meets an old friend (78) ; David carries out his threat (78) 78 Wed 28/11/09 20:30 Roslyn plays politics and becomes involved with drugs; Jim and Geoff grow closer; Leila has a warning for Meg (80) 79

The episode summaries for this week in TV Times quoted on the Talking TelevisionAU site unfortunately don't help to definitely establish which was the final episode; "In Prisonerís season finale (ATV0, Wednesday), Lizzie is a bit under the weather, and Greg discovers a theft from the examination room. Pat finds herself in a predicament, while David makes plans for revenge".

The remarks about Lizzie and Greg both seem to apply to (77) rather than (78). However, the other two comments do seem to relate more to (78): Pat's predicament possibly being where Bea forces her to give evidence to the VJ, and David actually carries out his revenge at the end of (78). So were episodes in this week actually (77) and (78)?

29 Nov 1979 Tue 04/12/79 20:30 News then Poldark - Wed 05/12/79 20:30 News then Poldark -
6 Dec 1979 Tue 11/12/79 20:30 News then Poldark - Wed 12/12/79 20:30 News then Poldark -
13 Dec 1979 Tues 18/12/79 News then Poldark - Wed 19/12/79 News then Poldark -
20 Dec 1979 Not scanned into archive - Not scanned into archive -
27 Dec 1979 Not scanned into archive - Not scanned into archive -
3 Jan 1980 Tue 08/01/80 20:30 News then Elizabeth R - Wed 09/01/80 20:30 News then Elizabeth R -
10 Jan 1980 Tue 15/01/80 20:30 News then Elizabeth R - Wed 16/01/80 20:30 News then Elizabeth R -
17 Jan 1980 Tue 22/01/80 20:30 Leila's suspicions about Geoff increase; Jim is forced to confront Geoff; Lizzie writes a letter; Roslyn confronts her new friends 80 Wed 23/01/80 20:30 There are threats of a conspiracy within the prison; the Fletchers have an unwelcome house guest 81
24 Jan 1980 Tue 29/01/80 20:30 An explosive situation erupts at the prison; Ros makes a move which has dire consequences for Erica 82 Wed 30/01/80 20:30 Chrissie is up to her old tricks; Ros's new found freedom drives her to desperate lengths 83
31 Jan 1980 Tue 05/02/80 20:30 Jim finds himself in trouble; Chrissie is caught out 84 Wed 06/02/80 20:30 Wentworth Detention Centre has a new social worker; there is tragic news for Pat 85
07 Feb 1980 Tue 12/02/80 20:30 Pat blames Dr Miller for her son's suicide; Lizzie is interrogated by the police; the prisoners say goodbye to a friend 86 Wed 13/02/80 20:30 Bea devises a plan to reveal the truth about Olivia and Chrissie is trapped into helping; solitary confinement seems to have changed Ros; Paul Reid has news about his son 87


Updated